Viruddha Ahara: Incompatible food combinations
The word Viruddha leads to two factors i.e. on combining two, three things, the stronger one shades or overpowers the weaker ingredients. It has been stated that in a combination of so many opposite qualities, the majority of the power-packed qualities overpower the weaker qualities.
The second meaning of Viruddha indicates the combination of two substances which are not having an affinity for each other. It has been applied in Ayurveda in the context of dietetics & various combinations having such affinity for each other. Such type of Ahara or foodstuff which is composed of substances having no affinity at all may be defined as Viruddha or Viruddhahara
Simply……Ahara that which vitiates dosha and which is antagonist to the dhatu in the body is known as viruddhaahara.
Various other terms are also used such as –
Ananukula or Pratikula (Shabda Kalpadrum) –which is having an adverse effect or unfavorable
Anapayukta – which is unpropitious
Pratisiddha – prohibited
Apathya – incompatible diet
Charaka 26.102, 103
The one who takes different types of viruddha food will suffer from different diseases, weakness of sense organs and death.
Astanga Sangraha 9.29
Types of Viruddha Ahara:
Ayurveda has described various types of Viruddha, which run as under :
Desha (place) Viruddha: To have dry and sharp substances in dry region, unctuous substances in marshy land.
Kala Viruddha: (Time): intake of cold and dry substances in Winter, Pungent and hot substances in Summer.
Agni *(digestive power) Viruddha: intake of heavy food when the power of digestion is low, intake of light food when the power of digestion is sharp and intake of food at variance with irregular and normal power of digestion.
Matra (quantity) Viruddha: intake of honey and ghee in equal quantity
Satmya (wholesome) Viruddha: intake of sweet and cold substance by person accustomed to pungent and hot substance.
Dosha Viruddha: utilization of drugs, diets and regimen having similar qualities with Dosha, but at variance with the habit of the individual.
Sanskara (mode of preparation) Viruddha: drugs and diets which, when prepared in a particular way produced poisonous effects. E.g. meat of peacock roasted on a castor spit.
Virya (potency) Viruddha: Substances having cold potency in combination with those of hot potency.
Koshtha Viruddha: to give less quantity with less potency and less stool forming food to a person of costive bowel. Administration of more quantity heavy and more stool forming food to a person having laxed bowel.
Avastha (State of health) Viruddha: intake of Vata aggravating food by a person after exertion sexual act, physical exertion or intake of Kapha aggravating food by a person after sleep or drowsiness.
Krama (sequence) Viruddha: if a person takes food before his bowel and urination or when he doesn’t have the appetite or after his hunger has been aggravating.
Parihar Viruddha: Intake of hot things after taking pork etc.
Upachar (treatment) Viruddha: cold things after taking ghee.
Paaka (cooking) Viruddha: preparation of food with bad or rotten fuel and undercooking, overcooking or burning during the process of preparation.
Samyoga (combination) Viruddha: intake of sour substance with milk
Hriday Viruddha: intake of unpleasant food
Sampad (Richness of quality) Viruddha: intake of substance that is not mature, over matured or putrified
Vidhi (rules for eating) Viruddha: taking meals in public place
Many food combinations are given in the texts as incompatible with proper explanation for e.g.
One should not take fish along with milk because this combination is Abhishyandi (great obstructer for channels), it vitiates blood.
After eating radish, garlic, basil one should not take milk because of the risk of skin disorders.
All sour liquids are antagonistic to milk.
Hot honey taken by a person induces toxicity and lead to death.
Likewise, honey and ghee in equal quantity, hot water after taking honey are antagonistic.
Examples of Incompatibility/ Antagonistic (Viruddha -Aahara)
1) Virya viruddha- (potency incompatibility) – Fish + milk
2) Sanskara viruddha- (Processing incompatibility) Heated Honey
3) Matra viruddha- (dose incompatibility) – Honey + Cow’s ghee – mixed in equal proportion.
4) Krama viruddha – Hot water after taking honey
5) Kala viruddha- (Time incompatibility) Pungent substance in summer & Cold substances in winter
6) Krama viruddha- (Order incompatibility) – Consuming curd at night.
7) Samyoga viruddha- (Combination incompatibility) – Fruit Salad / Milk+ Banana
8) Parihara viruddha (contraindication incompatibility) – Consuming cold water immediately after having hot tea or Coffee.